October 11, 1975: George McCrae, Stretch, Bud Flanagan, Paul Melba, Maxine Nightingale

New Spins

Starting this week, I will be giving a “JH PICK” to the records reviewed that I personally intend to carry on my mobile disco dates. These will be records which seem to me to be useful regardless of their hit potential. Be warned: despite my own taste, the disco is biased MOR / white rather than funky / black.

GEORGE MCCRAE: ‘I Ain’t Lyin’’ / ‘You Treat Me Good’ (Jay Boy BOY 105)
The rhythm section that rules the world does its thing as George soars and cut-price brass battles through the dominating drumkit. So simple, so effective. Cooled-out though still busy beat on the flip.
★ JH PICK

STRETCH: ‘Why Did You Do It’ (Anchor ANC 1021)
Heartily-compressed drum beats and Doobie-type guitar jiggling back gruff Elmer Cantry on a superbly-produced semi-slow thudder that’s kinda like Bad Company meeting the Ides of March. Sounds like a smash.
★ JH PICK

BUD FLANAGAN: ‘Who Do You Think You’re Kidding Mr. Hitler?’ (Pye 7N 45530)
I goofed by playing this (the Dad’s Army theme) once at a gig where evidently the German ambassador was a guest! Oh well, the point being that I use it all the time, especially as part of a routine where it leads into Glen Miller’s ‘In The Mood’. Great jolly MOR.
★ JH PICK

PAUL MELBA: ‘You’re The Cream In My Coffee’ (Pye 7N 45537)
Silliness, ideal for certain MOR gigs, hidden on the flip of an unsuccessful ‘Misty’-fication of ‘Tenderly’.
★ JH PICK

MAXINE NIGHTINGALE: ‘Right Back Where We Started From’
Here comes Pierre “Fool” Tubbs again, giving Al Matthews’s back-up singer an amazingly infectious clapalong bouncy beat and a dead simple catchy tune. She looks great, too!

FREDDIE WATERS: ‘Kung Fu And You Too’ (Mint CHEW 2)
Punchy soul thumper that should become a fave, even though crazily it’s buried as flip to an Al Green copy called ‘Groovin’ On My Baby’s Love’.

LABELLE: ‘Messin’ With My Mind’ (Epic EPC 3624)
Less direct at first than ‘Lady Marmalade’, this chunky bouncer is a comer even so, and should get soul folk jumping.

HUBERT LAWS: ‘The Chicago Theme (Love Loop)’ (CTI CT SP 001)
Flautist Laws goes MFSB on this classy smooth hustler, which seems themed for a TV cop show but isn’t. Hardly jazz, though kinda nice!

SALSOUL ORCHESTRA: ‘Salsoul Hustle’ (Epic EPC 3672)
Vince Montana taps his vibes and produces the Philly fellas under yet another name as they latch onto salsa. Their jazzily-developing slick rhythm rattler’s a bit tame at first before the 6:41 disco version gets down to really cook.

SEVEN SEAS: ‘Super Jaws’ (Jay Boy 98)
Funky wah-wah instrumental by Little Beaver and the “other” band at TK, it’s the first of all the Jaws spinoffs to be a US hit.

ULTRAFUNK: ‘Sting Your Jaws’ (Parts 1 & 2) (Contempo CS 2071)
And another – although there’s nothing to let you know it on this livelier and funkier instrumental. Incidentally, the actual Jaws movie theme by John Williams (US MCA) is an awesomely sinister piece of pseudo-classical music, and not a dancer.

FIREFLY: ‘Hey There Little Firefly’ (Parts 1 & 2) (A&M AMS 7195)
If you love Young-Holt’s soulful strut you’ll go for this, as it’s a vocal version with new words!

CLIFF BENNETT & THE REBEL ROUSERS: ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’ (Alaska ALS 1013)
Re-issue (in stereo) of the 1966 brassy Beatles hit, fresh enough to go well today.


Import Picks

UNDISPUTED TRUTH: ‘Higher Than High’ / ‘Spaced Out’ (Gordy G7145F)
Exciting “boom-boom-chicka-chicka-boom” opening and wildly abandoned tearaway construction make the topside a dancer’s delight, while the flip starts with bedroom noises before becoming a slinkily-chanted beefy thruster. Few things are sexier than that intro!

PAT LUNDI: ‘Party Music’ (Vigor VI 1723)
Disco side of this great hustler is 5:15 of instrumental bliss, like a poppier, lighter version of ‘Dreaming A Dream’. Strings scrape, rhythms clatter, everything swirls around and – the clincher for me – the guitar plays a lovely old-fashioned ‘Tighten Up’ lick.

SOUL SEARCHERS: ‘Boogie Up The Nation’ (Polydor PD 14277)
Somber synthetics and dramatic brass intro this huskily-sung bumpy rhythm dancer, which gets down and does it most effectively.

MIKE POST: ‘Manhattan Spiritual’ (MGM M14829)
While we’ve been resurrecting his old ‘Rhino’, Mike’s been hot Stateside with ‘Rockford Files’ – to which this big-sounding revival of Reg Owen’s 1959 hit instrumental is the follow-up. Lotsa brass, wheezling synthetics, richly resonant rhythm.


New twist to old stompers!

ALEX HENDERSON, DJ at the Vlctoria Bars in Weymouth, writes in surprise that when he played CHUBBY CHECKER’S Let’s Twist Again it caused a riot. Now it’s become one of his most requested records. Frankly, I’m surprised that he’s surprised!

Like the Charleston, Waltz or Rock ‘n’ Roll, the Twist has never gone away and is a dance that all generations can recognise – even if they don’t know how to do it.

Alex thinks that it would be interesting to hear from other DJs around the country, as he’s sure that they would agree about the time
being right for a twist revival?!

I personally play Let’s Twist Again at nearly every gig, and have done ever since it came out! Last Saturday, for instance, in response to a request for the Locomotion, my playing order was as follows (the audience was basically in their 20s):

First verse (skipping countdown) of CHRIS MONTEZ: Let’s Dance (London), cut on the beat into CHUBBY CHECKER: Let’s Twist Again (Columbia), segue Into JOEY DEE: Peppermint Twist (Columbia); cut on the beat into his Hey Let’s Twist (Columbia), abrupt cut into CHUBBY CHECKER: It’s Pony Time (Columbia).

Then cut into DANNY & THE JUNIORS: Pony Express (Top Rank), cross fade into CHUBBY CHECKER: The Fly (Columbia), cross fade into THE DOVELLS: Bristol Stomp (Columbia), cross fade into THE ORLONS: Wah-Watusi (Cameo-Parkway).

Without stopping cut into DEE DEE SHARP: Mashed Potato Time (Cameo-Parkway), cut into her Gravy (For My Mashed Potatoes) (Cameo-Parkway), cut into LITTLE EVA: The Locomotion (London), segue into her Let’s Turkey Trot (London).

Then cut into THE SENSATIONS: Let Me In (Pye), cross fade into THE CRYSTALS: Da Doo Ron Ron (London), cross fade (skipping intro) into WILSON PICKETT: Land Of A Thousand Dances (Atlantic) . . . phew!

The secret is – don’t play the whole record, just a verse or two in most cases, building and moulding the tempo. If it works (which it did), they can’t sit down!

OK, so where do you get all these oldies? Many of the records mentioned on this page are in fact deleted, and now only available from junk shops, market stalls and the like. Or from specialist oldles shops.

There isn’t space to put them all here, but if you write to me (and incidentally you can still contribute to Record Mirror & Disc’s disco chart) I’ll send a list.


Jingle all the way

JINGLE SINGLE No. 6 has just been unleashed by those pesky piskies down Cornwall way. My criticism of past attempts has always been that the jingles included were too long, and often too poorly recorded to be of real use.

Now, however, they’ve been tightened right up so that each track lasts only about 10 seconds, plus a fading decay, which is enough time for a twin-deck jock to slap on another record and let it run in without pre-cueing.

The production quality is better too, with the messages kept short and simple.

Titles include Record Of The Week (Power Play), No. 1 in the Soul Charts, 21st Birthday Request, Heavy Metal Rock, and Blast Off.

★ JH PICK

Available from Roche Studio, Tremodrett, Roche St, S Austell PL2 6LW, price £1.75.


dj hot line

FAITH, HOPE & CHARITY: To Each His Own (RCA) doesn’t hit you at first but after a few plays it’ll never leave your turntable – so opines Ray “Rosko” Robinson (Tiffanys, Leicester), who’s joined in tipping this hot Hustler by Chris Sang (Hove), Mark Rymann (South Wales clubs), Bob Poole (Reading), John “Jay Jay” Sawers (Karloff’s, Irvine), Greg Edwards (Wandsworth), and, of course, Les “Godfather” Spaine (Time Piece, Liverpool).

Chris Sang reckons ROXY MUSIC: Love Is The Drug (Island) Is absolutely fantastic, and wagers it’ll be Top 5 within five weeks – why so long?!

Mark Rymann is going with two other much-tipped goodies, DEE CLARK: Ride A Wild Horse (Chelsea) and CROWN HEIGHTS AFFAIR: Dreaming A Dream (Polydor), as is Steve Day (Chingford), who’s still got Dream at number one.

Steve Day further reports SILVER CONVENTION: Fly Robin Fly / I Like It (Magnet) gaining in popularity rapidly, DOOLEY SILVERSPOON: As Lang As You Need Me (Seville) progressing, and BLACK ROCK: New York City Bump Pt. 2 (Seville) sensational!

Jon Taylor (Crocker’s, Norwich), another Dream merchant, tips ELEVENTH HOUR: Hollywood Hot (20th C) and JACK ASHFORD: Do The Choo Choo (London), charts THE TRAMMPS: Hold Back The Night (Buddah), and says that THE BROTHERS: Are You Ready For This (US RCA) could be a hit if released here.

As well as Wild Horse. Peter Greig (Route 66, Plymouth) tips MFSB: Let’s Go Disco (Phila Int), SPEEDY KEEN: Bad Boys (Island) and TODD RUNDGREN: Real Man (Bearsville).

Another Horse rider and Disco goer, Jay Jay Sawers, at last charts the great MIKE HARPER: I’m Cryin’ (Retreat), as does Les Aron (Bali-Hai, Bognor Regis), who adds that after a lot of pushing it’s finally taking off.

Hot imports for funky Les Spaine include CLARENCE REID: See Through (US Atco), JAMES BROWN: Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag ’75 (US Polydor) and SOUTH SIDE COALITION: Get Off Your Seats And Jam (US Brown Dog).

Good oldies from Willy Coates (Untouchables, Appleby) and Les Chester (Eltham) – between ’em they pick SUSAN MAUGHAN: Bobby’s Girl (Phillips), MARTHA REEVES & VANDELLAS: Jimmy Mack (Motown), BILL HALEY: Rock Around The Clock (MCA) and PRINCE BUSTER: Al Capone (Blue Beat).

Speaking of oldies, I’ll be playing all the hits and more from 1962 at the Lord Nelson In London’s Holloway Road, next Wednesday the 18th – so stop on by and say “Hi!”. In fact, the first reader to do that can win a free copy of Rob Finnis’ definitive The Phil Spector Story, published by Rock on . . . wow!


star tip

THIS WEEK’S star tip comes from two DJs with the same idea: both Mike Mclean (Strathclyde University Students’ Union) and Tony Hadland (Audio Systems Quadrodisco) compile their own weekly charts from request slips given to all the dancers.

Mike’s system is to give out request-cum-voting slips with places for three singles in order of preference.

On the basis of 3 points for first choice down to one for third, he then works out each week’s chart and has it printed in the local paper.

That last bit seems like the best idea of the lot!


UK Disco Top 20 – October 11, 1975

01 03 David Essex – Hold Me Close – CBS
02 12 Drifters – There Goes My First Love – Bell
03 01 5000 Volts – I’m On Fire – Philips
04 04 Fatback Band – Yum Yum (Gimme Some) – Polydor
05 02 KC & The Sunshine Band – That’s The Way (I Like It) – Jay Boy
06 13 Rod Stewart – Sailing – Warner Bros.
07 — Four Seasons – Who Loves You – Warner Bros.
08 08 Natalie Cole – This Will Be – Capitol
09 20 Dee Clark – Ride A Wild Horse – Chelsea
10 05 Leo Sayer – Moonlighting – Chrysalis
11 — Jonathan King – Una Paloma Blanca – UK
12 07 People’s Choice – Do It Anyway You Wanna – Philadelphia Int’l
13 09 Jimmy Bo Horne – Gimme Some – RCA
14 19 Bob Marley & The Wailers – No Woman, No Cry – Island
15 — Chi-Lites – It’s Time For Love – Brunswick
16 18 Crown Heights Affair – Dreaming A Dream – Polydor
17 14 B.T. Express – Give It What You Got – EMI
18 — Faith, Hope & Charity – To Each His Own – RCA
19 re Leroy Brown – One Woman Man – EMI
20 06 Al Matthews – Fool – CBS


james’ top ten

1 I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU Art Garfunkel (CBS)
2 IN THE MOOD Joe Bob’s Nashville Sound Company (US Capitol)
3 LOOKS, LOOKS, LOOKS Sparks (Island)
4 FEELINGS Morris Albert (Decca)
5 LADY OF SPAIN Ray Stevens (LP) (Janus)
6 I’M ON FIRE 5000 Volts (Philips)
7 THERE GOES MY FIRST LOVE Drifters (Bell)
8 GIMME SOME Jimmy Bo Horne (RCA)
9 THAT’S THE WAY I LIKE IT KC & Sunshine Rand (Jay Boy)
10 HOLD ME CLOSE David Essex (CBS)

BREAKERS
1 WHO LOVES YOU Four Seasons (Warners)
2 JAILHOUSE ROCK Z.Z Top (LP)(London)
3 WHAT A DIFF’RENCE A DAY MAKES Esther Phillips (CTI)

 

 

 

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